Unconventional and Unexpected

king size quilt square.jpg

I seem to be in a finish and clean up mode and that led to prepping this king size quilt for quilting. 

large scale print.jpg

A friend's sewing clean out and purge unearthed this fabulous large scale vintage print. Can you believe? It's PERFECT for the back of this quilt.

king size quilt back standing on a table.jpg

The large flower print is wide enough that two strip of it will cover the width of the quilt. It lacks about 8 inches to make two full height strips. Whooop!  I'm over the moon thrilled to be adding this quilt to the pile ready for basting and quilting. I hope to get it quilted this summer. 

Last Minute Hoodie

With one full day before she had to leave for music camp Miss P decided she wanted to make herself a hoodie. She searched the web for a pattern, printed it out and got right to work.


We decided to take the project to the studio where there is air conditioning and fewer distractions. She worked on her hoodie and I build a back for that king size quilt on the floor and then did a little hand stitching. 

making hoodie.jpg

I have to say this is the fastest she has ever completed a garment for herself.  And of course she had to include a pocket because we all know there are never enough pockets on clothing for girls and women. 


I hope she has a great week at camp!

blue lake.jpg



Have you seen Betz White's new Entomologie fabric? She sent me some small pieces to add to my La Passacaglia quilt and I am smitten. I especially love that bug and butterfly print. I love that it's a print of some of her felt embroidery; and those bugs and butterflies are the perfect size for fussy cutting.


I ordered some yardage of that one and you can too! Here's a link to pre-order directly from Betz.  I am eager to cut all of these prints and add them to my fussy cut quilt. Those supporting fabrics also go with all my others in this quilt. It's like she made the whole collection of fabric just for me to add to my quilt! 

The pre-order ends on June 22 so act fast.

Nocturne Mini

improv curve blocks.jpg

Here's the second mini from Nocturne blocks. I still have to quilt and bind it but wanted to share it now. 
I was a bit more methodical in making this one. I chose one fabric for all of the block centers. I then chose 25 different colors for the rest of the blocks. From each fabric I cut four rectangles for the cross bars, and four squares that were then free cut to make background and blade pieces. I mixed and matched these pieces to build all of the blocks. 

nocturne process.jpg

This process assures that each fabric is used in each of the three places in a block. I also mixed them up so that they were not paired with the same fabrics. 

I thoroughly enjoyed making this little mini. 

Quilting Feathers and a Design Wall Reboot

strings and feathers.jpg

School is almost out for the summer and I am working to finish a few projects. I've had this top ready to quilt for months. I want to get it finished so I can take it on my teaching gigs this summer. 
I have a few exciting teaching events coming up. Here's a list of my travel events for the rest of the year. Will I be teaching near you?

June 21-24 Vermont Quilt Festival
July 14-15 Chicago Modern Quilt Guild, Chicago, IL
July 27-28 Bloomington Normal MQG, IL
August 28-29 Common Thread Quilt Guild, Columbus, OH
October 4-6 Northern Lights Machine Quilting Guild, Duluth, MN
October 22-23 - Big Red Quilters, Holland, MI
November 1-4 Stitches XRX, Pasadena, CA

design wall june.jpg

Today I also sewed together the second set of Nocturne blocks and also cut sashing strips and started putting together the postage stamp quilt that's been on my design wall all spring. I am eager for a fresh start at the design wall. 

Mini Quilt Swap

My mini quilt for our guild swap with the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild is ready to go! 

mini swap mural.jpg

This bright mural is painted in the alley next to my studio in town. The colors were perfect for a photo shoot of this little quilt.

mini swap corner.jpg

This was such a fun quilt to make and I LOVE the bright colors. This is a study in value placement. The only constant is the mustard that is used in the block centers and the binding.

mini swap alley.jpg
mini swap close.jpg

I hope my swap partner likes it!

mini swap square.jpg

Finished size 14.5'' by 14.5''.

The Magic Forest

I just received Gwen Marston's latest book, The Magic Forest, in the mail. The book really is a magic forest of quilts. 


Like her book, 37 Sketches, this book is a work of art. Each spread of the 65 page book consists of a single photo of a tree quilt paired with complementary poetry. 

The Magic Forest 1.jpg

The quilts are made in a variety of styles.

I was pleasantly surprised to see a poem by my friend, and quilter, Ronnie Alff.

The Magic Forest 2.jpg

The photography, by Frank Solle, a Beaver Island photographer, is beautiful. You can see every quilting stitch. 

The Magic Forest 3.jpg

A trip through this magic forest has me eager to cut into my fabric to start my own landscape of plant and tree quilts.

The Magic Forest 4.jpg

If you would like your own copy, email Gwen at: gwenjoymarston(at)gmail(dot)com. She is selling them for $32 plus $4 shipping. The book, a very limited edition, is self published and will not be reprinted.  Gwen says she only has a handful left so act fast.

The only brick and mortar shop that is selling them is Quilted Strait in Port Gamble Washington. 

Edit to add, Gwen has sold out of her copies of the book. The books are now only available through Quilted Strait.

(post contains affiliate link)

Suffer - Domestic Abuse Quilt Series #9

Suffer - 16" by 16"  based on the traditional quilt block Crown of Thorns. 

suffer quilt.jpg

An abused person often endures a lot of suffering. This website defines abuse and describes many of the tactics used by an abuser. The types of abuse described here include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and coercion, reproductive coercion, financial abuse, and digital abuse. 

Here is a list of emotional abuse tactics that are often not seen by some as a tactic of abuse.

  • Calling you names, insulting you or constantly criticizing you
  • Refusing to trust you and acting jealous or possessive
  • Isolating you from family and/or friends
  • Monitoring where you go, who you call and who you spend time with
  • Demanding to know where you are every minute
  • Trapping you in your home or preventing you from leaving
  • Using weapons to threaten to hurt you
  • Punishing you by withholding affection
  • Threatening to hurt you, the children, your family or your pets
  • Damaging your property when they’re angry particularly items with emotional or sentimental value to the victim or the victim's family,
  • Humiliating you in any way
  • Blaming you for the abuse
  • Gaslighting
  • Accusing you of cheating and being often jealous of your outside relationships
  • Serially cheating on you and then blaming you for his or her behavior
  • Cheating on you intentionally to hurt you and then threatening to cheat again
  • Cheating to prove that they are more desired, worthy, etc. than you are
  • Attempting to control your appearance: what you wear, how you cut your hair, etc.
  • Telling you that you will never find anyone better, or that you are lucky to be with a person like them
Suffer 5.jpg

A person suffering from abuse may have a lot of mixed emotions in that they love their abuser but are treated badly. They may think that by suffering through, they can help or "fix" their abuser. They may think that no one has shown their abuser "real love" and that if they try harder they can fix the situation. 

They often believe that enduring abuse can protect other vulnerable people around them (including their abuser). In the case of children, they may actually be teaching them that it is OK to stay in a bad relationship or that they need to endure bad things rather than take control of their situation.  At the same time, other people can point to that "need" to stay as weakness. 

When in an abusive relationship for an extended time,  people can start to accept suffering as a part of their relationship and their life. And continually appeasing and trying to 'adapt' to the abuser also becomes the new normal.

Suffer 4.jpg

Domestic abuse quite often causes friends and family, or secondary victims, to suffer. The abuser can attempt to damage friends and family's relationships, reputation, and property in an attempt to hurt the original target, even at times manipulating or forcing them to do this damage themselves. 

Suffer 3.jpg

Ten million Americans experience domestic abuse every year.  Ten million.  Someone I love and care about is a victim of abuse and has been for over twenty years.  Odds are you or someone you know is a victim as well. I have learned a lot about domestic abuse over the last two decades and the number one fact I have learned is that most incidents are never reported.  Ten million people every year and that number doesn't reflect the full scope of abuse in the US, as many people aren't able to safely share and report their stories.  I am a doer.  I like to make and fix things.  Sadly, I cannot fix things for the person in my life who is being abused.  But, I can speak up.  And I can sew.  And hopefully I can make a difference. (Statistics from the CDC)

Domestic violence knows knows no boundaries when it comes to race/gender/sexuality/age/socioeconomic status/geographic location/culture.  

Remember, it affects ten million in the US every year.  If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, please know that the folks at the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1 800 799 SAFE or thehotline.org) are ready to listen and support you, as well as refer you to a local program or organization. If you observe someone being abused, you can also call the hotline.  A good samaritan call can save a life.

See all of the Domestic Abuse Quilts here.